Is a Root Canal a Serious Procedure? Understanding the Facts and Recovery Time


At Fifth Avenue Endodontics, we receive many inquiries from patients who want to better comprehend what to expect during their root canal procedure. It’s common for individuals to have concerns about the severity of the procedure and the recovery time involved.

Fortunately, most root canals have a relatively quick recovery period, typically only requiring a week of special post-operative care. However, it’s important to recognize that individual outcomes may vary based on the specific circumstances that brought you to our endodontist. To provide clarity, here are some situations that may necessitate extra care to ensure the success of your root canal.

When is a Root Canal Considered a Serious Procedure?

Pre-existing infections or tooth damage: If your tooth has a crack, chip, or extensive decay, it can lead to a deep infection in the pulp. In such cases, antibiotics may be necessary before the root canal to eliminate the bacteria and ensure a successful sealing of the roots.

Multiple roots in the affected tooth: The complexity of cleaning and sealing canals increases when a tooth with multiple roots requires a root canal. Molars can have up to four canals, premolars typically have one or two, while canines and incisors have a single canal.

Failure to contact your endodontist in case of aftercare issues: Promptly reaching out to your endodontist is crucial if you experience severe or rapidly increasing pain, if the temporary filling falls out, or if you notice swelling inside or outside of your mouth, as these may indicate complications that require attention.

Neglecting the scheduled appointment for a permanent crown: A permanent crown should be placed on the treated tooth approximately two weeks after the root canal. This crown provides structural support, protects against infection, and reduces nerve sensitivity. Failing to get a permanent crown puts your tooth at risk of further damage or infection, potentially compromising the success of the root canal.


By understanding these factors, you can ensure a smooth and successful root canal procedure. Our experienced team at Fifth Avenue Endodontics is here to guide you through the process and address any concerns you may have.